The endless column inches and webpages dedicated to street food is becoming an annoyance – this week we’ll probably hear about an ice cream van selling tacos, a VW camper dispensing deep fried whitebait, a gypsy vardo vending ceviche – It’s all just so much of a gimmick – another foodie fad to fill the bottomless pit of the internet with, another fly by fashion for those more interested in telling people via Facebook what they are doing than taking any enjoyment from the actual doing of it. Life lived at a remove, where no one appears to have the ability to live in a moment anymore – too scared that other people are having a much better time doing something else in some other place.
This whole street food / posh take away food trend – it has become a parody of itself, something once interesting has become unremittingly dull. If you’d like to predict the next street food revolution you can using a simple tombola method (this I fear may well be happening). Simply write out each food stuff on one piece of paper and a mode of transport on the other, fold up each one then pick your food trend and your transport – it’s as simple as that. With this you’ll be able to jump on the bandwagon (selling chicken drumsticks) in no time at all – and for that PR hit simply send it to the blogosphere. They’ll be more than happy to go misty eyed over it (but only if you are setting up in the right postcode, think Clapton E9 over Shoreditch EC1). I’d also recommend that you tell people you once had a pint (of ‘craft beer’, obviously) with the man who started Meat Liquor – because in some bizarre way this gives you instant kudos.
Feel free to add your own to this list…but to begin with:
Food: Profiteroles, Bakewell Tart, Alphabites, Kellogs Special K, corn beef hash, Dairylea Dunkers, Cheese String, beans on toast…
Dispensing vehicle: Citron 2 CV, Spitfire MK V, a hearse, a bendy-bus (RIP), a Challenger tank, Intercity 225, Airbus A319, Ford Capri, oh and of course the obligatory bandwagon…
Being bored of all this London nonsense after returning from Paris (where mention of street food would have been greeted with a shrug and a “what is wrong wiv zee brasserie?”) and it being my birthday I decided to go in search of the original, and perhaps the best take away – fish and chips, not served from the bomb bay of a decommissioned B52 bomber parked in Victoria Park but from a fish and chip shop by the seaside (can you imagine?). I went to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, famous as the home of the great Benjamin Britten and the Golden Galleon fish and chip shop.
Miss A and I, after enjoying a very unpretentious meal at The Lighthouse (no sign of anyone Instagramming their food), a walk along to Maggi Hambling’s wonderful scallop sculpture and a spot of sea swimming (from me anyway) had fish and chips sitting by the beach, where we drank Adnams and looked out at the infinity of sea, sky and marsh. I felt no need to check-in, Tweet or Instagram my whereabouts, and on a perfect day, in the company of the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met – why the hell would I?